XO Gen 1.5

Mark Bauer mark at zjunk.net
Fri Apr 17 16:48:46 EDT 2009

This sounds great,  the description makes it sound as if the
plastic will be the same.  Does this imply that a new mother
board will fit into the existing plastic?


On Apr 17, 2009  Friday, at 2:24:21:0, John Watlington wrote:

> OLPC is excited to announce that a refresh of the XO-1 laptop is in
> progress.  In our continued effort to maintain a low price point, OLPC
> is refreshing the hardware to take advantage of the latest component
> technologies.  This refresh (Gen 1.5) is separate from the Gen 2.0
> project, and will continue using the same industrial design and
> batteries as Gen 1.  The design goal is to provide an overall update
> of the system within the same ID and external appearance.
> In order to maximize compatibility with existing software, this
> refresh will continue with an x86 processor, using a chipset from
> VIA.  The memory will be increased to 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and the
> built-in storage will be 4 GB of NAND Flash with an option for 8 GB
> (installed at manufacture).
> The processor will be a VIA C7-M [1], with plans on using one whose
> clock ranges from 400 MHz (1.5 W) to 1GHz (5 W).  The clock may be
> throttled back automatically if necessary to meet thermal constraints.
> The enabling chipset is hot off the fab line, the VX855 [2].  This
> single chip provides the memory interface, a 3D graphics engine, an HD
> video decoder, USB, SDIO, and other system interface and management
> functions, in a low power and small footprint package.   One change
> induced by the chipset change is a move from AC'97 to HD Audio.
> This brings higher sampling rates and allows an upgrade to a stereo
> external microphone (and DC sensor) input.
> The CaFE chip is being retired, and replaced with an external Flash
> management controller, possibly one of the low cost SSD controllers
> currently being tested.  The camera will now be tied directly to the
> VX855's video capture port.
> The network interface will be upgraded to an 88W8686, which will halve
> its power dissipation and move it to an SDIO interface (further
> dropping the power consumption).   The current goal is to locate it
> in a removable module, allowing its replacement for repair.   It will
> remain powered while the laptop suspends, waking the laptop if a
> packet addressed to it arrives.   It is likely that early production
> models will not directly support 802.11s (i.e. forwarding mesh packets
> while the interface is asleep), but we are working with Marvell on
> several different 802.11s solutions.
> Gen 1.5 will continue with the existing display, although OLPC is
> working with PixelQi to try to improve the brightness and efficiency
> of the screen.   The DCON is retained (even though the VX855 includes
> much of its functionality) as it provides the low power interface and
> the timing controller functions for the existing display.
> Overall, the target is to match the Gen 1 XO-1 in power consumption
> while making aggressive suspend easier, and in price (while changing
> to components which are more likely to decrease in price).   It is
> likely that both goals can be met.
> We also expect the Gen 1.5 machines to ship with an OLPC 8.2.x
> software release, modified to support Gen 1.5's new hardware but
> otherwise unchanged from the current production software release and
> compatible with our current software in the field.  Gen 1.5 machines
> will be deployed in environments already populated by Gen 1 machines,
> so seamless software interoperability is an important goal.
> Early versions of the hardware (bare board) should be available for
> driver development at the end of May.   A larger number of prototype
> laptops (several hundred) for software development and testing will
> become available around the end of August.   The OLPC contributors
> program will be the preferred way of requesting a Gen 1.5 machine for
> testing your software for compatibility or development.  We hope to
> use the contributors program to ensure Gen 1.5 support for the wide
> variety of application and OS solutions created for Gen 1.0.
> We're excited to be finally able to make this news public.  While
> members of the technical team have been working on this for several
> months, it was not until last week that we could with any certainty
> say that we were going to refresh the hardware and what that refresh
> was likely to be.  We're now committed to this project and look
> forward to working with you to make it happen.
> ---John, Ed, and the OLPC Tech team.
> ========
> [1] http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7-m_ulv/
> [2] http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/v-series/vx855
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